Thursday, July 31, 2008

Eight is indeed lucky


Milestone for a munchkin
London, ON, July 2008 [Click to embiggen]


Little man, otherwise known as Noah, turned eight today. All day long yesterday, he was counting the hours until midnight, wishing he could somehow speed things along. We gently reminded him that time always moves at the same speed, and someday he'll wish he could slow it down.

As we got ready for bed, my wife and I both found ourselves wishing we had that power. Maybe it's because he's our youngest, but his birthdays seem to tug at our hearts with just a bit more bittersweet flavor because he's the last of our three kids to celebrate them.

It's been quite some time since he was a baby, of course, but I still remember his coming into the world as if it were yesterday. It's hard to believe it's been eight years. But at the same time, it's hard to imagine life without him. Indeed, it's hard to imagine our world without him, without his kindness, empathy, sense of humor and sweetness.

He burst into our room early this morning to announce that he was finally eight years old - because we might have otherwise not known. As the fog receded from my eyes, I looked closely at him. He looked bigger than he had when we tucked him in just a few hours earlier. On her blog, my wife has written about his big puppy feet. This morning, his legs looked like they had grown just a little bit. Maybe they were trying to catch up. His face looked slightly older, more angular. Maybe it was just my eyes playing tricks on me - that happens when you hit my age, I suppose.

I can't slow down time and I can't keep him from rushing away from the baby he once was. I can't yet get him to truly appreciate why he shouldn't be in such a rush to grow up. I can't hold onto his childhood any more than he wants to remain there. Yet as he adds another year to his life, I find myself looking at my own, hoping I'm doing everything I can as his dad, as his mom's husband, to set the tone, to give him what he needs, to show him the way.

Eight years on, I still wonder some days if I'm following the manual the way I'm supposed to. Then it hits me that there is no manual. It's a reality that makes parenthood a challenge, but also an adventure and definitely a joy. I'm becoming who I am through the lens of our kids, and I doubt it would be anywhere near as much fun without them.

May your ninth year be as charmed as your eighth, my sunshine boy. May we always feel that unique joy in our hearts as we watch you cheerfully work your way through the day, rubbing your goodness off on everyone who crosses your path. May you always be surrounded by family and friends who love you limitlessly and unconditionally - because you know we do.

Your turn: I hope you'll pop by my wife's blog and share a thought with her. She's a lovely person. Yeah, I'm biased :)

About these photos: I could take pictures of my family all day. Some days, I do! We took the munchkin to a neato hotel here in town for a party with his friends. It's got an atrium with a pool and water slide, and it was all he could talk about for the last month. He was just, just tall enough to go down the water slide - that growth thing again - so it ended up being an even happier day for him.

Thematic Photographic tie-in: If you're following this week's Thematic Photographic theme - signs - you'll notice my none-too-subtle inclusion of Noah's birthday cake in this entry. That's kind of a sign, right? Anyway, my point is simple: Signs are everywhere. They take many forms. Please feel free to think outside the box as you plan your own TP contributions. Click here to start or continue your photo addiction.

18 comments:

PastorMac's Ann said...

Wishing him many happy returns of the day. Glad that his birthday was such fun. He's really a handsome young man.

Barb said...

Happy Birthday, Noah! You are a very lucky young man to be part of such a fun and loving family.(Carmi, is it a camera trick, or does he really look just like you?)

smarmoofus said...

Most definitely a sign. It's over with already, but a happy birthday to big Noah, and congratulations to you and your wife, again, for recognizing how special what you have really is.

-smarmoofus

Sara said...

love that cake! happy birthday noah!!

Lynda said...

He IS a handsome young man! Happy Birthday, Noah :-) They sure grow up fast, don't they?

kenju said...

Happy Birthday, Noah. I hope you will always be that excited to have a birthday - even when you're 70!

Mojo said...

Happy Birthday big guy. Enjoy this time in your life, it's the best there is!

me said...

Happy Birthday Little Man! May each birthday be better than the last.

Allison Says said...

Happy Birthay to Noah! 8 is a wonderful age :)

MorahMommy said...

Little man said this was the best birthday ever. Yes, everyone he looks just like his daddy. I was only the vessel! :-)

He is truly the sweetest boy and very appreciative of all that we do for him.

I think we're doing a pretty good job Carmi, if I may say so myself!

Love you!

D.O.M. Dan said...

Your little man and my little girl have something in common: they both turn 8 this summer. The big difference is that their birthdays are about a month apart. That means you and I were issued the same you and I were issued the same version of the "manual". I don't know about yours, but mine seems to be missing some pages.

Happy Birthday to Noah, and congrats to his parents on doing such a fine job.

marcia@joyismygoal said...

What a nice Face Happy --late birthday wishes and yes he favors you so much.

ciara said...

happy birthday, noah!

wow, your son looks just like you :)

Jennifer said...

Congratulations on your sons 8th birthday.. Amazing how fast they grow up!My son will be 8 next year!

R. Sherman said...

Your son looks like you. Happy Birthday to him!

Killired said...

"you'll notice my none-too-subtle inclusion of Noah's birthday cake in this entry. That's kind of a sign, right?"

of course it is! a sign o' the times!!!!

happy belated little one! my oldest is 8 years old too!

Vesper de Vil said...

he looks so much like you!

Rainbow dreams said...

belated Happy Birthday...I don't know where the days are going and I miss so many posts!!